Lemon Vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette recipe is SO easy to make! With its zingy, bright lemon flavor, it'll blow any store bought dressing out of the water.

Lemon vinaigrette

How is it possible that in 8+ years of writing Love and Lemons, I haven’t shared a basic lemon vinaigrette recipe until now?! Often, I post salad recipes with a dressing included – a kale salad with carrot ginger dressing, a watermelon salad tossed with lime juice. But a few weeks ago, as I was whisking together this lemon vinaigrette, I realized that tying a dressing to a specific salad recipe can sometimes sell it short.

This lemon vinaigrette is one of my favorite salad dressings. It’s zippy, fresh, and bright, it comes together in minutes, and it keeps well in the fridge. With its vibrant lemon flavor, it’s a dressing that you’ll use for so much more than salad. Sure, it peps up greens, but it also makes roasted veggies more exciting, adds life to grain bowls, and more. So whisk it up, pop it in the fridge, and start drizzling it over everything. Easy, versatile, and delicious, this lemon vinaigrette recipe is one you’ll make again and again.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients

This lemon vinaigrette dressing recipe is super simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh lemon juice – To make it zippy and bright!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It gives the dressing body and richness.
  • Garlic – It adds a nice kick.
  • Dijon mustard – For tangy depth of flavor.
  • Honey or maple syrup – I list it as optional, but its sweetness perfectly balances the sharp garlic, lemon, and Dijon mustard.
  • Fresh or dried thyme – Again, it’s optional, but if you ask me, herbs make everything better. With its fresh, aromatic flavor, it adds something special to this lemon vinaigrette.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

When you’re ready to make the dressing, add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Then, add the olive oil. As you’ll see in the recipe below, I make my lemon vinaigrette with varying amounts of oil. If I’m tossing it with raw greens and vegetables, I want it to have a mellower flavor. Then, I use 3 parts acid to 4 parts oil. If I’m dressing heartier ingredients like roasted vegetables or potatoes, I want it to taste sharper, so I use a 1:1 ratio. I recommend starting with a 1:1 ratio and adding more oil as needed.

As you pour in the oil, whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the thyme, and season to taste with more oil, salt, and/or pepper. Enjoy!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Whisking olive oil into lemon vinaigrette dressing

How to Use Lemon Vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette will keep in an airtight container or jar for up to 1 week in the fridge. Of course, it’s a great way to dress up a simple green salad, but there are so many other delicious ways to use it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

How do you like to use lemon salad dressing? Let me know in the comments!

Lemon salad dressing

More Favorite Dressings and Sauces

If you love this lemon vinaigrette recipe, try one of these homemade salad dressing recipes next:

Lemon Vinaigrette

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 328 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves 6 to 8
This easy lemon vinaigrette recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. It's delicious and versatile - perfect for tossing with salads, roasted vegetables, and more!



  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey, if using.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking and continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Alternatively, combine everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine.
  • If your dressing is too tangy, add more olive oil, to taste.
  • Add the thyme, if desired, and season to taste. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. The olive oil will solidify a bit in the fridge. To soften, let the dressing sit at room temp for a few minutes and stir before using.


Makes 1/2 cup.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Terrie

    5 stars
    Perfect for many purposes. I whizzed mine in the blender!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Terrie, so glad you loved the dressing!

  2. Joselyn

    5 stars
    Delightful! I omitted the honey because I’m a fan of tangy salads. Easy to make with a punch of flavor. 5 star in my book!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Steph

    5 stars
    What a delicious light, sweet and sour dressing. Super easy to whip up. My daughter (8) loved it and so did we. ❤️

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Steph, so glad it was a hit!

  4. Kristy

    5 stars
    Great little dressing! I’m new at making them and usually just buy one from the supermarket but I thought I’d try it. Lovely flavour and I used it to toss through my three bean salad (chickpea. Kidney bean and green beans) My new favourite. Thank you

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Kristy, so glad you loved the dressing!

  5. Vicki

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and LOVED IT!!!!! So super yummy and balanced flavors.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Linda

    I wanted to replicate an amazing salad I had on a recent holiday. Your delicious lemon vinaigrette was perfect as the lemon dressing ingredient I needed in the recipe.
    We’ve only been home for 3 days and I’ve already made it twice! Thank you🙂

  7. Timothy j Harris

    I have been making this recipe for 3 weeks it’s so good I have to make a double batch every one love it’s and ask for the recipe thanks for a wonderful dressing.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Timothy, I’m so glad the dressing is a hit!

  8. JDauray

    5 stars
    Loved this. After tasting though, I did bump up the maple syrup to 2-3 tsp. I also mixed it all in my mini Cuisinart. The thyme version is good, as thyme is my standby. However, this time I threw in a bunch of fresh tarragon and two small sprigs of mojito mint. It was fabulous. This is definitely a keeper, especially given the fact that you can switch up the herbs to match your meal. Great recipe.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, I’m so glad you loved the dressing! These herbal variations sound wonderful.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.